Voters to decide which party will run South Gloucestershire Council in local election

by BBC LDRS team and Filtonvoice

Voters are set to decide which political party will run South Gloucestershire Council for the next four years in an upcoming local election. The results will affect a huge range of issues in South Gloucestershire, including new housing developments, bin collections and bus services.

All seats are up for grabs across the 28 wards in the district in the upcoming election on Thursday, May 4, where the Conservatives are fighting to keep control to run the council. Local elections are also being held on the same day in many other parts of England.

In Filton there are two seats being fought over. Labour’s Adam Monk is looking to hold on to his seat while Conservative Chris Wood, who secured Filton’s second seat by one vote over labour’s Ian Scott four years ago, is moving away and not standing for re-election. The Green Party, Lib Dems, Conservatives and Labour are all fielding two candidates, along with current Filton town councillor and Independent Andy Robinson.

Full list at bottom of story

The Conservatives have been in power for 16 years in South Gloucestershire and are defending a slender majority of just two seats. On a national level the party has recently suffered a huge drop in opinion polls, which could affect how voters decide which party they choose.

The current Conservative council leader, Toby Savage, is not standing for re-election due to the recent birth of his second child, which he described last month as a “promotion to dad-of-two”. It’s not yet known whom the Conservatives will choose to replace him as leader of their group, and who would lead the council if the Tories win again.

There are a few key dates which voters need to know. The deadline to register to vote has already passed and was on Monday, April 17. If you can’t get to a polling station, then the application deadline to vote by post is 5pm on Tuesday, April 18, and the deadline to vote by proxy is 5pm on Tuesday, April 25. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.

This is the first time voters will need to bring formal identification — such as a driver’s licence or passport — with them to polling stations, after a new law was recently passed. Voters without accepted forms of ID will be turned away from polling stations and might not be allowed to vote.

However, people without accepted forms of ID can apply to get a free Voter Authority Certificate, which will allow them to cast their ballot at polling stations. The deadline to apply for this free photo ID is Tuesday, April 25.

The Conservatives have run South Gloucestershire Council since 2007 and they currently have 33 seats out of a total of 61. Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats have 17 seats and Labour has 11. A party needs to win at least 31 seats to get an overall majority and take control of the council. If no party wins a majority, called ‘no overall control’, then one party could form a minority administration or two parties could form a coalition to take power after May.

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are standing candidates in all 61 seats. Labour is putting up 43 candidates, while the Greens are standing 16. There are six independent candidates, two from Reform UK, and one from the National Housing Party No More Refugees. The council has now published a list of all candidates who are standing, broken down by each ward in the district.

Candidates in Filton (two seats)

Esther Adjeivi, Conservative

Dan Boardman, Green

Frederic Contenot, Conservative

Alex Doyle, Labour

Richard William Emmerson, Liberal Democrat

Martin Braid Joinson, Liberal Democrat

Adam Paul Monk, Labour

Andy Robinson, Independent

Jenny Vernon, Green